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Guilty Simpson - Ode To The Ghetto

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 || nba2ksteve

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Guilty Simpson - Ode To The Ghetto

With production by heavy weights such as Black Milk, Madlib and the late great savant of hip hop J Dilla you just can’t be surprised that this disc will do overtime in your deck. I first discovered Guilty Simpson a few years ago on J Dilla’s “Rough Draft”. I was blown away by his verse on the track “Take Notice” but never took the time to check on this man in spite of the track title demanding i do. Im oblivious what can i say? We’ll he insisted i wake the hell up when he took over other rappers tracks and out balled them on they’re home court.

The album open’s up with an appropriately epic intro. In “The American Dream” he lets you know his views of life and crime as a necessity as apposed to something to be glorified “lost in the life where the young fool sped, never shoulda taught him that a gun shoots lead, and crack could get his brother and sister a new bed, addicted to the game and thangs screw feds”. At first listen his style and flow can seem off-putting, even boring. His voice will grow on you and it becomes a talent all its own. His slow deliberate style begins to serve a purpose and makes him distinguished among all the clones floating around with a myspace and record deal. Monotone works for him. No need for theatrics, he stays in a comfort zone that still is fun and creative. That’s a balance most rappers cant achieve.

His first single “Get Bitchs” is a headscratcher. Solid track yes but its probably the wackest beat and the least impressive in lyrics. I guess they hoped it would just sell on its jeezy-esque title alone. If they wanted a certified banger to move units day one “The Future” would have done it and done it well. Madlib comes with the hard ass beat that is reminiscent of EL-P when hes not trying to take it to the next level of weird and acceptable. I  didn’t know he had this type of beat in him. As for Guilty this is definitely his beacon of light. “I got a cousin who plays for the utah jazz, but i dont have to run the 2 to shoot ya’ll ass, peace to ronnie brewer, on the mike im the manure, got a ruger for the coward trying to hate on the computer”. He shares the track with M.E.D. who just bores you into a “rap or gtfo” mindstate then guilty says move over lil nigga, i know your on my label but your draggin’ this shit down, your lucky this beat is hot, let me end this with a bang. Then he proceeds to do just that with dramatic flair and gusto.

Best track on the album with a beat made of butter is “The Real Me”. With a gorgeous soundscape and flippin’ baseline it damn near brings a tear to my eye. “Mama got bills, papa got ghost, my new father figures poppin’ that toast, on the corner where the dope men boast, arguin’ who got the most, barely got a pot for roast starvin’, but always got pots for coke, when your broke the hood got jokes, alot of brothers doin’ good got smoked, many blood stains paint the ave, makes you wonder what choice we have” Guilty compliments it perfectly as if he knows what Black Milk wanted outta him in this production. Guilty goes nice on this track with a hook that would make 50 and Jay Z jealous. “Since you don’t know, Its guilty you feel me, my foes wanna kill me i can feel it, one day you gotta go, and i know but the doe got me dreamin’ of filthy ima get it, just pop in the disc and your gettin the real me, im the realest”.

“Kill ‘Em” bangs stupid hard if you have a system, shit even with stock in your whip. This is the ode to keepin’ it gutter. “I blow a blunt eat good and blow another blunt, im dumb high i dont even know the fuckin’ month”. “You boys bluffin’ you aint holdin’, 45 horse for the horse they road in”. Other stand outs are “Pigs”,”Ode to the Ghetto”,”Run”,”Yikes” and “My Moment”. Dilla showed me that not only is Detroit hip hop not dead, he took it on his back and proved its not just Eminem over here. While Dilla rests in peace he left his legacy in guys like Guilty, Elzhi and his obvious protege Black Milk. They are carrying the torch with pride and respect for those before them. Guilty is just the man to carry the torch to the mainstream. Hopefully his dillagence (gotta love the word play) wont fall on deaf ears.

Production: 8.9
Rhymes: 8.7
Overall: 8.8